Skip to main content
Mobility and Transport
News article22 September 2016Directorate-General for Mobility and Transport

Study on prices and quality of rail passenger services

Study on prices and quality of rail passenger services

DG MOVE has published the Study on the Prices and Quality of Rail Passenger Services, which investigates how the fares and quality standards applicable to rail services in Member States are set and have evolved. The study, conducted by Steer Davies Gleave, is also looking at the impacts of liberalisation, competition and transport policy in relation to rail services, and assesses the competitiveness of rail vis-à-vis air and road travel. It differentiates between suburban, regional and long distance services and covers all Member states (except Cyprus and Malta who have no railways) as well as Norway and Switzerland.

The study concludes that fares and service quality is in large part determined by decisions taken within national, regional and local transport authorities, rather than by market conditions. In addition, demand for rail travel is, besides the fares and quality, influenced by a wide range of demographic, geographic and economic factors. As a consequence, Member States with broadly comparable fare and service quality levels can exhibit very different levels of rail demand. Rail competition has had positive effects on availability and quality of services. However, given the considerable range of products on offer in liberalised markets, it is important that passengers can access good quality information about their ticket options and that they understand applicable terms and conditions.


Publication date
22 September 2016
Directorate-General for Mobility and Transport